Becoming more customer/client-driven, improving quality, managing change
and continuing to grow successfully requires vision and planning as
well as a clear understanding of organization and personal values.
Strategic planning is about where your
organization is going over the next year or more, how it's going to
get there and how you know when its arrived. Of all the value-added
services we offer, helping an organization plan its strategy often
tops the list. Why? Because strategic planning is an essential
ingredient to sustainable success. By implementing a strategic
planning process, a documented strategic plan is created. That plan
is used to communicate direction throughout your organization and
manage progress over time.
Organizations many times already know
much of what will go into a strategic plan. However, development of
the strategic plan helps to clarify the organization's plans
and ensure that leaders, middle managers and front line employees
are all "on the same page." Far more important than the strategic
plan document, is the strategic planning process itself.
How does a strategic plan differ from
a business plan? The focus of a strategic plan is on the entire
organization, while the focus of a business plan is frequently on a
particular product, service or program.
We provide you with strategies to define and
communicate the results your organization seeks, identify the
skills and behaviors that achieve this end and implement
actions supportive of your direction. We help you put an overall plan in
place to become a higher performing organization.
» We work with you to design a
strategic planning process that is right for you; that builds on
what you already have in place and produces a working document that
is used throughout your organization to help set priorities and make
daily decisions. See
TYPES OF STRATEGIC PLANNING for more detail.
We facilitate the Strategic Planning Process, focusing on developing
and evaluating alternative strategies as well as plan development.
See SUCCESS FACTORS for
» We provide facilitated planning sessions for the purpose of
assisting management in the creation of Vision, Mission and Value
statements. We work with you to define an organizational culture
consistent with achieving your strategic goals.
» We provide workshops to help managers and employees throughout the
entire organization embrace the organization's strategic direction
through specific actions.
Strategic Planning Workshop Example
Most of our workshops are customized to meet your specific
requirements. The following is an example of a workshop we did for
Strategic Planning for Success
TYPES OF STRATEGIC PLANNING
There are a variety of approaches used
in strategic planning. Our objective is to select the approach that
is right for you. The selection criteria includes the organization's
leadership style, culture of the organization, complexity of the
environment, size of the organization, expertise and more. The most
common planning models are goals-based, issues-based and scenario
Goals-based planning is the most
common and starts with focus on the organization's mission, vision
and values, goals to work toward the mission, strategies to achieve
the goals and action planning of who will do what and by when.
Issues-based strategic planning often
starts by examining issues facing the organization, strategies to
address those issues and action plans.
Scenario planning makes the assumption
that a specific event will occur and identifies the courses of
action that would be required by the organization to achieve its
Frequently an organization will
perform a SWOT analysis as part of the planning process. As strategy
is developed it is helpful to understand the organizations internal
Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the external
Opportunities and Threats.
Some plans are scoped to one year,
many to three years and some go five to ten years into the future.
Some plans include only top-level information and no action plans.
Some plans are five to eight pages long, while others are
In designing planning activities, it
is important to be aware of how strategic planning relates to
development of business strategy. The most successful organizations
engage in formal planning, not to create strategies, but to
operationalize the strategies they already have in place. First, the
business strategies are developed and prioritized by management.
This requires clarity about the Organization’s mission, vision,
values, as well as a good understanding of external opportunities &
threats and internal strengths & weaknesses. Secondly, a strategic
plan is developed to elaborate on and implement business strategies
that have already been selected by top management.
In the final analysis, some strategic
plans become key documents in helping an organization achieve its
goals; other plans fall short of expectations. Some strategic plans
are used by management to guide them in day-to-day decisions; other
plans are put on a shelf and quickly forgotten. Experience shows
that the following items relate directly to the long-term success of
the strategic planning activity, as well as the overall satisfaction
The organizations that tend to be more
successful with strategic planning:
» Have clear vision,
mission and value statements in place and these statements are
understood throughout the organization at all levels.
» View the planning process
as separate from the strategy process. Both compliment each
other and are ongoing.
» Have integrated the
planning process and the strategy process into the management
process. Strategic planning is not a once-in-awhile, one-time
» Have top management who
spends sufficient time in the development and selection of
strategies and translating strategies into action.
» Involve key personnel in
the planning process.
» Use the resulting plans
for performance measurement and accountability.
» Use a planning process
that is not overly structured and that is appropriate to their
Realistically, few organizations have
all of the above in place. To the extent that you can make progress
in the above areas, you will be setting yourself up for success.
Often pre-planning activities can greatly impact the above areas. We
can help you with these.